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Hi - I've put the cart before the horse, or the chick before the coop!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Zany Chick, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Zany Chick

    Zany Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, my name is Sue. I've done so many google searches in the last few weeks that land me at this site that I thought I may as well join.

    I tend to be long winded, so feel free to skip to the last paragraph which explains where I am at right now, for the brave...

    I've always wanted chickens and never had them. Last year I discovered chicken "tractors" and thought that would be a great way to go. A nice little chicken tractor and 3 hens. 2 Rhode Island Red and a Barred Rock. Spring came and I was really starting to get the itch when my husband pointed out that if I got chickens this spring I would have to get someone to take care of them while I was on vacation. So, I put the idea on the back burner. I didn't really want to deal with the whole "brooding" thing anyway and I have a friend who gets chickens at auction when they are about laying age. I agreed with my husband to wait until next year while secretly plotting to get older chickens after our June vacation. Ahh, plans.

    My boxer had a lump on her neck and we found out it was cancer and took her to a specialist for surgery. Vacation went out the window, but thankfully the dog is cured. No vacation, no reason to wait until next year for chickens. So I spent hours and hours putting together what I liked from various home made and retail coops and came up with what I thought would be perfect for my 3 or 4 hens, I would just need help moving it and I had to find a run design.

    Friday or Saturday before Easter hubby and I had some running to do and ordered a pizza from a place in a plaza with a Tractor Supply Co. I needed to get a few dog items so we went in while we waited for the pizza.

    It was "Chick Days". Tubs and tubs of adorable chicks. He led me to the checkout and by the time we reached the doors I was tearing up. I went to the car, he got the pizza and when he got back to the car asked if we were going back in for some and what exactly would I need. I told him I couldn't just take chicks home with no plan so we left.

    Easter Sunday I unveiled my super plans to my son and stepfather who both offered to help with construction. They couldn't understand them even though I had them all drawn and labeled with front and side and back elevations and even the way the plywood would be cut. My son grabs a piece of paper and starts drawing it from the inside out and changing the way it was framed so that it would be lighter. My plan was for a 3 x 4 coop. It was going to become 4 x 4. I still didn't understand what he had drawn so I brought it home to mull over.

    Satisfied that I could have a coop in 4 - 6 weeks I planned to go out and get some chicks. I went to Agway (which is much closer than TSC) first. I had called and they told me they had barred rock and cornish rock. They had no barred rock and their prices for the brooder light was twice what it was at Tractor Supply, so I left with no chicks, but a feeder and a purple waterer (purple is my favorite color). Drove to Tractor Supply, not even a feather left in the bins. Bought a lamp and a bulb and feed and was told they would have more chicks Monday morning.

    I pluged in my lamp to test it out and it tripped my breaker. Bad lamp. Maybe I just wasn't supposed to have chickens. Monday morning I went to TSC and they had straight run cornish rock and Buff Orpington, which I had never heard of, but they were cute. I asked for two, knowing I would get my others on thursday. They told me I needed to buy 6. I said "no thank you". Nice guy standing behind me says "6 isn't any harder than 2" I said I was already getting more on Thursday and what would I do with all of those chickens...especially if I got a bunch of roosters! "Do you eat chicken?" he says. I answered "yes, but I couldn't" "I can process them for you" and he hands me a card. So it all sounded very reasonable that I was carrying 6 chicks of a breed I knew nothing about out of the store with a farmers business card in my pocket. I had set up a large cardboard box as a brooder and had it all set up. Put them in and they seemed happy, checked the temperature every hour before I decided it wasn't changing. Wendesday I decide that I don't like not being able to tell them apart so after a little internet research I color their heads with a washable marker. From what I had read about feathers and legs I thought I had 3 each. Thursday I go to Agway to buy 3 RIR and 3BR (2 each if I didn't have to buy 6) They had no BR, I bought 3 RIR and brought them home. They integrated very nicely with the other 6 although they looked like dwarfs next to them. The next morning I cleaned up after all of my chicks and decided I was done buying, there would be no BR, but I was fine with it. I cut doorways and attached a separate "dining room" to my brooding box yesterdeay. It is working out well, but I'm starting to get a little nervous about how fast they are growing. I've been joking that I'm going to have a cardboard condo before I can move them outside.Next to break it to my husband that a 3 x 4 or even a 4 x 4 coop isn't going to be big enough and to try to work out new perfect plans.

    So that is how I went from planning 2 RIR and 1 BR, 3 hens and a nice portable "tractor" to 6 straight run Buff Orpingtons and 3 RIR pullets and planning a 4 x 8 coop.

    Thanks if you made it this far!

    Sue
     
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. Congrats and have fun. :thumbsup
     
  3. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    A 4x8 coop will be a breeze to make. Ply already comes in 4x8, so you need 7 of those, and then enough 2x4s and a 4- 4x4(legs)... to make a frame. Wahlah. I have built all my coops, and I had never built anything in my life till I got chickens. SO, tell him, if a girl who never built anything can build an 4x8 coop in 3 days... he can too. LOL.

    BUT, better yet, if you can get a 6x8 coop, that'd be better. Cuz you never know... You just may see another chicken breed you just gotta have! LOL

    Welcome to BYC!
     
  4. Zany Chick

    Zany Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Non chicken related,

    I am in my early 40s, a Registered Nurse, but currently unable to work. I have 4 sons 23 (the self proclaimed carpenter), 21, and 14 and 11 at home. I also have a granddaughter (3) and 2 grandsons just over 5 months (not twins). I live in a semi rural area of Pennsylvania on just under 2 acres. We just getting deep into baseball season with the 2 boys at home. Besides the boxer I have 1 cat and a turtle.
     
  5. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us. Congrats on your chicks and good luck [​IMG]
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
     
  7. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. dreamer5577

    dreamer5577 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pennsylvania
    Hi && Welcome!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D
     
  10. j and bs hens

    j and bs hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol!!! This sounds just like us! My husband has been talking me into chickens for the last couple of years. After our 5 yo boxer passed away, I needed to fill that HUGE void she left. Hence us now owning chickens. Couldn't fathom owning another dog. The poor thing could never fill the paws it's following.

    Anyways!!! We bought chicks, 2 months ago..... And the girls just moved into their new home. Yep, they lived in the house with us until then!! Oh the dust.....

    Welcome to BYC from BC! And welcome to the wonderful/crazy world of chickens!!
     

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